The summer front porch evening office is BACK! Doesn’t quite look like this for 2023, but it’s close.
I sat down and did some looking at the first and second quarters of the year as far as sales were concerned, and was pleasantly surprised to see that Q2 sales were significantly better than Q1–however, that’s also reflective of a new release in February that got some much-appreciated support from Deborah Ross, amongst others, and reflects March sales that didn’t get posted until April. What doesn’t show up necessarily is the degree to which both Ingram and Amazon have supplanted Draft2Digital as my primary sales sites. D2D just went completely flat for sales in Q2, and I’m still not sure why. Barnes and Noble is now a complete and total bust, where previously it used to be my best venue. I suspect it has something to do with changes in their management, because it was pretty dramatic. That, plus the Books2Read links became unreliable. Sigh. I think it’s time to tackle Linktree.
Ingram has been a complete and total surprise this year. I hadn’t been selling much there until suddenly, with the release of A Different Life: Now. Always. Forever. books started to sell. Well, the paperback of Beating the Apocalypse did decently, too, as have some of the Netwalk paperbacks. I’m somewhat falling down right now because I haven’t really been keeping up with the process of editing and getting those paperbacks OUT. I swear, there’s something in the air that keeps holding those books back. Too bad, because as my first series, I really like those books and I think they’re pretty decent. Oh well. We shall see.
But this isn’t the first year that I’ve foundered on the rock of April-May-June when it comes to productivity, especially when it comes to promotion. Oh, some of it is due to health issues–cataract last year, reacting to Covid shot and a couple of other things this year–but that doesn’t really explain other years. I really hit the shoals in April. Possibly due to the time and seasonal changes. April is all about the time change, followed by the need to adjust the horse schedule to later in the day to reflect more daylight and warmer weather. Then comes May and June, with woodcutting and recovering from woodcutting days in between those woodcutting days. We shoot for anything from six to ten pickup loads in the spring, depending on the state of the woodshed and our health. This year, we hauled nine loads of wood.
This year, we also had work on the Portland house, which sucked up a week of time working hard and not doing much fun because we were either a.) working or b.) recovering from physical labor. Plus two weekend virtual conventions. One involved paneling, the other one didn’t, but that still took up time.
Essentially, what seems to happen from April-June is a lot of disruption at about the time that any new routine I might institute needs to be revised and reconsidered. And I think that’s where I flounder in the whole organization thing. I don’t always get back on track as a response to the disruption, and that’s not a good thing.
Still another piece is that my office setup for winter doesn’t always work for summer. I instituted some changes in ergonomics and rapidly became unhappy with the layout. I’ve since fixed it, but it’s entirely possible that I may need to reorganize my office twice a year to reflect the different needs of the season as far as what lives in my office, what sort of paper-sorting organization I need to set up due to what’s happening, and what my responsibilities may be, as well as expanding places where I can work (in summer) and contracting spaces (in winter).
When it comes to promotion, I really need to get my act together. Part of “getting my act together” includes reducing complexities. I sat down and made a list of my social media platforms, sorted them by “these platforms I can post something somewhere in some group on a daily basis,” those where “targeted promotion once a week” is appropriate, and those where “only when something new–blog post, cover reveal, new release–is to be posted.” I sorted them out, grouped ’em, and made that list part of my monthly promo plan list. We’ll see how well it works.
The other piece with regard to promotion is that I really, really need to organize how I solicit reviews and interviews. I’m very hit and miss on that aspect of organization, and I need some sort of system to make it function. Some of that is a result of dropped emails–I need to set up a daily time to review and either respond or delete responses. Not sure how I’m going to set that up.
My biggest problem is that I’ve written and published a lot of work without building the supports I need for easy promotion organization. Now I’m playing catch up, and it’s making me a wee bit frustrated.
Ah well. It just takes time. Deep breath. Onward.